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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Women's Basketball

UH tries to build on recent success

Brittney Scott and the Cougars will try to maintain their spot atop the Conference USA standings alongside Tulane and Memphis when they travel to Tulsa and SMU this weekend. | Yulia Kutsenkova/The Daily Cougar

The Cougars used strong play in the last three weeks to move into a three-way tie for first place in Conference USA, but they’ll have to do a lot more to gain separation from Tulane and Memphis.

A win at Tulsa tonight would help.

UH (12-10, 6-3) enters its 7 p.m. matchup with Tulsa as one of the hottest teams in C-USA. The Cougars have won four of their last five games, with three of those wins coming in Houston.

Tulsa, on the other hand, is C-USA’s worst team. The Golden Hurricane (7-13, 1-8) beat Tulane last Friday for its only C-USA win, but was thrashed by UTEP 75-58 in its following game Sunday.

UH beat Tulsa 77-69 in their first meeting Jan. 28 at Hofheinz Pavilion.

On paper, Tulsa does not present a challenge, but the Cougars can’t count it out since the Golden Hurricane managed to upset Tulane in New Orleans. Plus, Tulsa isn’t too bad at home, where it is 4-4.

Fortunately for the Cougars, they’re at their best when playing away from Hofheinz Pavilion. UH is 7-3 on the road, with four of those wins coming against C-USA opponents.

A primary reason for the Cougars’ success has been the play of its two stars, junior guard Brittney Scott and junior forward Courtney Taylor. Scott is the team’s top scorer with 17.1 points per game, and Taylor is averaging 15.3 points and a team-leading 10 rebounds.

Taylor, C-USA’s second-leading rebounder, recorded her 36th career double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds in Sunday’s 68-62 win over Memphis. That double-double moved her past former UH standout Sancho Lyttle for first place on the program’s all-time list.

Taylor has been on fire during the last five games, averaging 18.8 points and 10.4 rebounds while shooting 59.6 percent during that stretch. She scored a career-high 31 points in the Cougars’ first game against Tulsa.

Scott, C-USA’s third-leading scorer, has scored in double figures in each of the last five games. During that stretch, she averaged 16 points.

Tulsa is led by senior forward Larrissa Williams and freshman guard Taleya Mayberry. Williams is averaging a team-high 16.3 points per game, and Mayberry is averaging 11.2 points.

After tonight’s game, the Cougars will travel to Dallas to face SMU Sunday at 2 p.m.

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